Quite some time ago I decided to switch social sharing plugin’s for this site.
If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you might remember that I used to run the Easy Social Sharing Buttons plugin, great little plugin for what it was.
Since implementing the Social Warfare plugin however, I’ve not looked at another social sharing plugin, and let’s be honest, there’s quite a few to choose from these days, both free and premium.
So why did I change to this plugin?
I’ll be honest with you, before committing to Social Warfare I’d heard nothing but great things about the plugin on social media and forums. I also read a lot of positive reviews on some blogs.
I was instantly sold on several features, one of which being that this was a damn fast loading plugin. The other being that visually speaking, these buttons were gorgeous.
So as the story goes I changed from Easy Social Sharing Buttons from CodeCanyon, to the Social Warfare plugin by Social Warfare.
Cool, so tell me more about this awesome plugin then!
OK so just to be clear about what I’m talking about here, the Social Warfare plugin is a premium social sharing plugin (social buttons plugin) designed for WordPress.
It is packed with tons of amazing cool features, including the ability to show Twitter counts! Yes you read right.
Since Twitter removed social share counts from buttons, we’ve all been a little bit in the dark, having lost our Twitter social proof. But with Social Warfare, you still have your social share counts, I’ll talk more about this later on.
So this being a premium plugin, it comes at a price. But one that’s affordable by anyone in my opinion.
Social Warfare plugin will cost you $24 for each license per year, and seriously get some cool features built-in. again we’ll have a look at these features in just a moment.
The plugin was created by three very talented guys; Nicholas Cardot, Dustin Stout and Jason Wiser. These three dudes have extensive background knowledge and experience in content creation, product design and development.
In short, the’ve created a freakin awesome plugin.
The benefits of using Social Warfare Sharing plugin over free plugins
Each feature inside this plugin is designed to give you more control over how your content is being shared on social media. This will most certainly help you drive more social share counts, drive traffic and engagement to your content.
Despite all the built-in features, this plugin is lightweight and loads pretty darn fast, even on mobile devices. Which can’t be said for many free plugins available out there.
The most striking feature of Social Warfare is of the buttons, which look simply gorgeous, clean and bold. On a modern website, these buttons would not look out of place.
OK so let’s look at some of the other core features in more depth.
#1. The Social Media Buttons
Like I said, the buttons look visually stunning and is the main attraction here.
I’m using Social Warfare on this site, so you can see what it looks like.
Right now, I’m displaying them with some customisations made. I have the buttons in red to match the rest of my site’s design, and as you hover over them, they reveal their default state colour for each social platform.
Customisation: There are many options for customising the look of your buttons in Social Warfare. You might want them to have the same look and feel as your website too.
Customisation includes the ability to change button shape, colours (including your own custom colours) and button size. See below for some of the visual and design options.
As for social network options, currently you can choose up to 10 social media buttons to display, these include: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Reddit and Tumblr, WhatsApp and Yummly. Not to mention you can also include a “share vial email” button.
You can also organise which order you’d like the buttons to appear in inside your posts or pages using simple drag and drop. See screen shot’s below.
Display Counts Options: In Social Warfare you can choose to show social counts in each button, or show total social share counts, or show both even.
Activate Tweet Counts: Perhaps one of the most awesome recent features added to Social Warfare, is the ability to show off your tweet counts. Twitter made the decision to remove counts from their twitter buttons a while back as most of you know.
Losing your social proof and all your tweet counts was a real kick in the teeth, especially if you worked so hard to promote your content on Twitter. With Social Warfare, you need not worry, you can proudly display your tweet counts inside your buttons just like before.
Button Location Positioning: There are some great options for displaying the location of your social sharing buttons on post or page with Social Warfare, these include above content and below content, or both, or manual placement.
You’ll notice on this blog I use both above and below content setting, with floating buttons at the bottom as you scroll down.
Manual Insertion: This feature allows you to insert buttons into your post or page manually using a short code, which will override the default settings. Additionally you can make the buttons reflect the post or page you’re going to publish, or reflect another post entirely.
Tip: You could use manual insertion for example when creating an expert roundup post for your blog. You could have social sharing buttons for each influencer’s input you add to your roundup post.
Quick Loading: As I mentioned earlier on, the plugin was designed with performance in mind, which means regardless of where you have the buttons displayed on your site, they will perform and load very quickly and smoothly.
Mobile Responsive: This is a critical feature of this plugin, being optimised for mobile devices means that the buttons will always look fantastic and load quickly on smartphones and tablets.
A lot of the plugins I’ve used before have struggled with fitting buttons into the screens of mobile devices. This feature really is a huge hit as it means your blog visitors can share your content on the go, and you won’t miss out on those extra social shares.
To the right of you is a screen grab of one of my blog posts visioned on a smartphone with the Social Warfare plugin active. Looks nice and clean wouldn’t you say?
#2. Click to Tweet Feature
This is another awesome feature built into the Social Warfare plugin. Usually with this kind of feature you’d have to purchase something separately, like signup to an online service such as ClickToTweet.
Adding a Click to Tweet inside your content using Social Warfare is very simple. Once you click on the icon in your editor, a dialogue box will appear with some options for you, see the image below.
As you can see from the screen grab above, you can add your Click To Tweet message very easily, and anywhere you want inside your blog content.
You can also select the visual theme you want to use for your Click To Tweet, and currently there are 6 themes to choose from, including the ability to style your own using CSS. Take a look at the active Click to Tweet’s I’ve added using Social Warfare.Social Warfare is the professional solution to making your content easily shareable on social media.Click To Tweet Check out this cool social sharing plugin for WordPress, you'll never look at another plugin again.Click To Tweet Drive More Social Shares To Your Content With Social Warfare PluginClick To Tweet The Most Advanced Social Sharing Plugin For WordPress To Help You Boost Social SharesClick To Tweet
#3. Link Shortening & Tracking
Social Warfare uses Bit.ly format to shorten links. This is a built in feature once again, which will save you a lot of time having to find and use social media tools to shorten your links manually.
By activating Google Analytics tracking you can also track clicks and shares of your blog posts / pages made via Social Warfare.
These sources appear as something like SocialWarfare / Facebook or Twitter under “Acquisition > Source / Medium” in your Analytics report. This traffic tracking is independent from other social traffic data in your Google Analytics. See image below.
#4. Social Warfare Custom Options (Upload Pinterest image and custom description)
Inside each post or page, you have even more options to customise with Social Warfare. Here’s a list of some of the things you can do.
- Add customised social media image that is optimised for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
- Add customised social media title and description.
- Upload customised image and description for Pinterest.
- Create custom tweets.
- Change sharing buttons location other than the default setting.
#5. Twitter Cards
The Twitter cards feature was recently added to the Social Warfare plugin, but again because it’s now built-in, it means you don’t have to go and install any other additional plugin or add any unnecessary codes to your site to achieve this.
What’s this Twitter card about? In the case you’re wondering what the big deal is with Twitter cards; Enabled on your site, you can attach photos, videos and other media to your tweets, thus helping you to drive more traffic from Twitter. Here’s a snap shot of what a tweet with Twitter cards enabled looks like to the right of you.
#6. Content Protection (Snip.ly Buster)
This is a God send of a feature! You may have heard of the online service Snip.ly or you may not have.
If you haven’t, basically this is a service that allows it’s users to add frames over web content to share. Frames can include call-to-actions, their own pop-up boxes, opt-in forms etc.
This tactic can be very damaging for you and your online business, sure you’re getting traffic but essentially your conversions are going be affected.
There’s a great post written by Richard Martin over on SmartIncomeDetective about how Snip.ly users can actually use your content to benefit, you can check it out here.
So the point being, why would you allow others to reap the rewards from your hard labor?
Well you don’t have to is the answer, because the Social Warfare plugin has a nifty built-in feature called ‘frame buster’.
Frame buster will check for frames being placed over the top of your content pages, then immediately redirect those visitors to the original page or post on your site.
#7. Share Count Recovery
This is another recently added feature, and one that could prove very useful if you’ve ever changed the permalink URL structure of a particular post or page.
When you do this, what usually happens is that the share counts are usually lost with the old URL. But with this new feature activated in Social Warfare, you can now recover those share counts. Woo hoo!
#8. Popular Posts By Social Warfare Widget
Yet another cool little feature. Inside the widget area you can add popular posts and sort them by popularity on social networks. See image to the right.
So… Should you change your current social sharing plugin to Social Warfare?
A big fat Yes is the short answer. Don’t wait, do it now!
However, if you’re happy with your current free social sharing plugin, and it does a good enough job for you, then why the heck change it?
This plugin is for a single site use only, and will set you back $24! And if you want to keep up with updates and what not, you’ll have to pay that premium subscription price every single year…
Is it worth paying a premium to a social plugin of this kind?
Yes in my opinion.
This is a lightweight, clean, super user-friendly WordPress plugin, busting at the seams with some of the best features and built-in tools in the business, $24 is cheap!
If you want to take social sharing and engagement seriously on your blog, get this plugin.
Have I personally seen an increase in social media shares or traffic to my site using this plugin?
Yes I absolutely have and I say that without pretending that I have.
Because this plugin has so many awesome features, additional social sharing button options for various platforms, including the ability to create Click-To-Tweet inside of blog posts, I’ve seen more engagement, more shares and tweets! Far more than I have using any other plugins.
I was already using a great plugin before which I mentioned at the start of this post. This being the Easy Social Share Buttons plugin from CodeCanyon. I am glad that I switched over to Social Warfare though, for all the reasons I’ve talked about and shared in this post.
If you’re looking for something really basic and simple, there’s a ton of free plugins out there you can use. Digg Digg or Get Social are just two of those you can find in the WordPress repository.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more pro, something with more built-in features and more control over social sharing, then I would definitely recommend giving Social Warfare a try.
Quick Pros And Cons
- Clean attractive design of buttons.
- Built with performance in mind, quick loading and won’t slow down your site.
- Great customisation options.
- Amazing built-in features, including “Click to Tweet” and “Frame Buster”.
- Lots of buttons placement and display options, including manual placement.
- ACTIVATE TWITTER COUNTS to show Tweet counts!
- Affordable, only $24 for single use license (per year)
- Google Analytics tracking.
- So simple to install and configure.
- Extensive knowledge database and great customer support.
- If you want to continue receiving updates for this plugin, you have to renew your subscription every year.
In addition to this review and insight post, here’s my personal insight and walkthrough video of Social Warfare I created just for you.